Medical Home Network Uses AI to Identify Patients at Risk from Covid-19

by March 23, 2020

Covid- 19

The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted almost everything, causing vulnerabilities to people’s lives around the world. Amid this deadly disease outbreak, doctors treating patients now need to make life-or-death decisions each day about who gets treatment. This is more complicated than it sounds. To curb this pandemic, an organization serving patients in the Chicago area, Medical Home Network is leveraging Artificial Intelligence to recognize individuals who are most vulnerable to Covid-19.

Medical Home Network noted that for Medicaid beneficiaries who face challenges like homelessness or lack of transportation access, it can be complicated to take measures to safeguard against or receive treatment for Covid-19. The organization is working collaboratively with ClosedLoop.ai to use the company’s Covid-19 Vulnerability Index, an AI-enabled predictive model. The model can prioritize care management outreach to patients most at risk from the virus.

In a statement, Chief Medical Officer at Medical Home Network, Dr. Art Jones said “We want to identify what we refer to as the ‘socially isolated’ or people without nearby friends or family so our care teams can proactively educate and offer assistance to people in regards to COVID-19.”

Medical Home Network’s Accountable Care Organization (MHN ACO) provides managed healthcare to nearly 120,000 patients in Cook County, IL. The ACO involves 10 federally qualified health centers, three hospital systems, and their physician practices. MHN ACO aimed at delivering patients with better care through coordinated care management at the practice level.

According to officials, patients who have been identified as vulnerable for severe complications from novel coronavirus will be contacted by MHN ACO care management teams. Art Jones said that “Community preparedness is critical. The dedicated MHN care teams who proactively reach out to patients via phone, email or text will help individuals understand what they can do to lower their chance of infection, recognize symptoms of infection and how best to access the advice and care they need.”

Since caregivers, decision-makers, and the public continue taking precautions to contain the spread of Covid-19, advanced technologies like AI can play an imperative role in identifying and securing individuals who are at risk.

Moreover, researchers in China are also developing artificial intelligence tools to help doctors or medical professionals amid coronavirus outbreak. However, there is a question raised that should AI assist in making medical life-and-death decisions? In this context, Chinese researchers consider they have come up with a piece of AI technology that can assist doctors to make a more informed decision on who has the better chance of survival, or highest risk of death, among competing Covid-19 patients.

According to reports, researchers from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and Tongji Hospital in Wuhan, Hubei said that they have created an AI diagnostic tool that can quickly assess blood samples to envisage survival rates. The researchers claim that the AI tool they built accomplished 90 percent accuracy on the fatality and survival rates of over 400 patients based on blood samples collected from the date of admission to Tongji Hospital.

The researchers’ study results, which is published on the preprint server Medrxiv.org, show the developers, led by Yuan Ye, a professor with the school of artificial intelligence and automation at HUST, hope to improve the accuracy of the system with a bigger database in the near future.